Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Greetings from RAMS

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at RAMS!
There is no Health without MENTAL HEALTH!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CARF surveys for the holidays

The Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) surveyors shall be visiting RAMS Hire-Ability Vocational Services on December 11 & 12 for our re-accreditation.  CARF accreditation is a process that demonstrates a provider has met standards for the quality of its services.  We are proud to have received in 2010 the maximum 3-year accreditation that is awarded to agencies, and we are looking forward to demonstrating our strengths and dedication to our work and community at the upcoming visit.

Founded in 1966, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services in the following areas:
  • Aging Services
  • Behavioral Health
  • Opioid Treatment Programs
  • Business and Services Management Networks
  • Child and Youth Services
  • Employment and Community Services
  • Vision Rehabilitation
  • Medical Rehabilitation
  • DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies) 
The CARF family of organizations currently accredits close to 50,000 programs and services at more than 22,000 locations. More than 8 million persons of all ages are served annually by more than 6,500 CARF-accredited service providers. CARF accreditation extends to countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.   This prestigious accreditation signals a service provider's commitment to continually improving services, encouraging feedback, and serving the community. Click HERE to read more about the accreditation process.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bay Area Typhoon Recovery Benefit for the Philippines on November 22

With each passing day, more news and heartbreaking personal stories of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda's terrible aftermath reach us in the Bay Area, especially affecting friends and families of those who are victims of this disaster.

As part of the API Circle, RAMS is joining efforts with the community in the Bay Area Typhoon Recovery Benefit for the Philippines, to provide recovery aid and disaster relief in the impacted towns in the Philippines. Your contributions at the door will go directly to the Save the Children.

Additional Organizations will be present to receive generous donations of your choice:
WHERE:  Drake Lounge, 508 4th Street @ Bryant Street, San Francisco
WHEN: Friday, November 22, 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Social Happy Hour – 6pm
Program – 8:30pm
Fashion Show & Auction – 10pm
Suggested minimum $20 door donations will benefit SAVE THE CHILDREN, an organization helping children and families suffering from the devastation. www.savethechildren.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1435130933372846/
Evite: http://www.evite.com/event/03C4SHLCRP2TOYK54EPDKAWLVIJZXA

Right-click the image below and select any option to "Open" to view in larger format.

EVENT ORGANIZERS Steven Lee, Keesa Ocampo & Rebecca Delgado-Rottman 

FASHION SHOW & AUCTION Viola Bao, Constance Ng, Mimi Tran 

HOST COMMITTEE (in formation): Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Senator Leland Yee, Assm. Rob Bonta, Assm. Phil Ting, Hon. David Chiu, Hon. Malia Cohen, Hon. Matt Haney, Hon. Ash Kalra, Hon. Fiona Ma, Hon. Manufou Anoa’i, Hon. Carmen Colet, Hon. Al Perez, Hon. Tony Thurmond, Hon. Tamiko Wong, Hon. Cindy Wu, Hon. Irene Yee Riley 
Vince Aguilar, Ana Apodaca, Viola Bao, Shadi Bazouzi, Ajay Bhutoria, John Bozeman, Brian Brennan, Edwin Camarao, Jay Chen, Henry Chu, Bonita Chun, Nicole Collins, Sonia Delen, Chris Do, Ted Fang, Marquesa Finch, Taiko Fuj, Christina Fuller, Alex Fung, Eric Golangco, Rick Gutierrez, Dan & Nancy Harrington, Daryl Higashi, Grace Horikiri, Larry Hufana, Albert Hwu, Richard Jue, Mike Kim, Constances Kim Ng, Tony Kutulas, JJ Lara, Jonathan Leong, Angie Louie, Mary Ann Lumba, Meghan Doran Macaluso, Kevin L. Nichols, John Nunes, Michael Orange, Suluagi Aliiva’a Palega, Rick Quan, Rochele Reyes, Roger Royse, Charisse Swartzburg, Mimi Tran, Mark Trang, Vana Tu-Mak, Kingston Wu, Aurora Young, Mona Zhao, Xu Zi Wei 
APAPA-SF Chapter, API Circle, Asian Business League (ABL-SF), AsianWeek Foundation, Books for the Barrios, Drink for a Cause, Hawai'i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, NAAAP, Nihonmachi Street Fair Committee, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, OCA - San Francisco Bay Chapter, Pacific Islander Community Partnerships, TAP-SF, The Luna Co.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In The News: San Francisco Achievement Collaborative Team (SF-ACT)

On October 15th, RAMS took a lead role in the launch event for the San Francisco Achievement Collaborative Team (SF-ACT).  SF-ACT is an innovative juvenile drug court treatment program, a partnership among RAMS; the San Francisco Superior Court; San Francisco Unified School District; the Juvenile Probation Department; the Department of Children, Youth and Families; the Department of Public Health; the Office of the District Attorney; the Office of the Public Defender; Catholic Charities CYO; and Seneca Center’s AIIM Higher program. The program is located at the Civic Center Secondary School, 727 Golden Gate Avenue.

RAMS SF-ACT Program Manager Richard Zevin speaks to some of the attendees,
including San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon (at far right)

RAMS is the lead treatment provider in this collaborative, and will start to provide individual, group, and family services following the end of the school day on October 21st. The launch event was an opportunity for the many different agencies involved to celebrate the beginning of a program unlike any other in the nation – a program that we hope can become a model for the nation.

(Right to Left) SF-ACT Program Manager Richard Zevin, LCSW; SF-ACT clinical staff Ernest Brown, PhD, and Danae Carvacho, MS, (not pictured: Dennielle Kronenberg, MA), and RAMS Director of Behavioral Health Services at the Wellness Centers Kristin Chun, LMFT.

SF-ACT focuses resources on rehabilitation, collaborative team decision-making, an emphasis on therapy and recovery, and a commitment from youth and their families to undergo an intensive outpatient treatment program designed to end the cycle of substance abuse and delinquent behavior.

Here is a feature presented by KTVU Channel 2 News, which covered the event:

If you are unable to view the video, click HERE to be redirected to KTVU's website.

To read the full text of the video transcription, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Trauma, Grief, and Loss... and Wellness

In times when groups of students are affected by community violence, grief and/or loss, RAMS provides Trauma, Grief & Loss Counseling to provide roving crisis support as part of the Wellness Centers Program therapeutic services at the high school sites.

Our counseling staff is able to provide debriefing, short to long term support groups, trainings to parents & teachers, and clinical consultation to other providers. We are pleased to share the latest “research snapshot” about our positive impact on addressing the trauma, grief, and loss that high school students have experienced as well as how we have supported them in the process of healing & growth.

 View the document by clicking on the image below to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open").

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Remembering William Kwok

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mr. William (Willy) Kwok, Employment Consultant at RAMS Hire-Ability Vocational Services.

Mr. Kwok passed away on Sunday, August 4, 3013 after a heroic & graceful battle with cancer. Throughout, he always remained positive, hopeful, strong, and accepting of his destiny. He always cared for others and even made sure those around him knew that he has had a good life, so no one needed to worry for him. We were truly blessed to know & work with him for the past six years and be touched by his generosity.
William Y. Kwok
August 27, 1946 - August 4, 2013
Mr. Kwok was a graduate of the London University in England, with a professional degree in law. He practiced law in the 1970s & 1980s, and shifted focus to working in international corporate business through the 1990s, while actively volunteering at various social services organizations in Hong Kong and Korea. He moved to the US in 2001, working in the legal field in San Francisco. He was very much interested in working to serve the community, which is when he was introduced to RAMS. Driven by his long-time interest in serving populations in need, he left the legal and corporate world to begin a new phase of his life as a community service provider & an Employment Consultant at RAMS Hire-Ability in July 2007.
He was such an outstanding & stellar staff member. He always brought everyone together in a positive way and reached out to everyone to provide his support. He was so kind and humble, always making personal connections & being such a positive reinforcement & motivating force for others. As an Employment Consultant, he worked so diligently on helping our consumers with getting employment and then assisting them in maintaining their jobs. Willy was a really wonderful job developer who will be missed greatly in the field of vocational rehabilitation. He always met the job placement goals and went way above & beyond it, setting a great example which was very hard to follow. He worked with so many employers tirelessly advocating for the consumers and was so successful in getting our consumers employed in the community. He created so many opportunities for our consumers, empowering them, lifting up their spirits, and believing in/focusing on their wellness & strengths.

His expertise, talents, boundless positive energy, compassion, and empathetic nature, as well as his fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghainese, was a great asset to RAMS and our Hire-Ability Vocational Services program. Mr. Kwok was also honored & recognized with a Certificate at an agency-wide function for his contributions to Hire-Ability, RAMS, and community mental health.

We offer our sincere condolences to the Kwok and Sing Family and letting them know we are here for them & offering our support in any way possible.

He will be missed greatly, but he will never be forgotten. His legacy will live on at RAMS and we will always keep the memories & his spirit alive.  Rest in Peace Dear Willy!

With utmost respect, admiration, and affection for Mr. Kwok. 
 - Richmond Area Multi-Services

Friday, July 19, 2013

Teaming Up For Mental Health

On July 18, Entertainment & Media Communication Institute of the Entertainment Industries Council (eic), in collaboration with National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and KTVU as well as other media and community partners, sponsored the “Picture This: Mental Health in the San Francisco Bay Area” forum, held in Oakland, California.  The focus of the gathering was to bring the media, entertainment industry, and mental health community together to talk about media portrayals of mental health and related issues.  Kavoos Bassiri (RAMS CEO) and Christine Tam, LCSW (RAMS Director of Peer Counseling Services) were invited to participate in this forum.  The forum’s goal is to work together (media and mental health community) in partnership in order to have positive, accurate, diverse, respectful & personal stories of mental health be portrayed in the media.  Representatives from the media, entertainment industry, state & local community partners, mental health professionals, and consumer advocates held roundtable work groups and engaged in discussions to come up with action items on which they plan to work together to promote mental health and stories on mental/behavioral health in the media.  In moving forward, there are plans to publish findings and recommendations from this forum to inform other media outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally on changing social perception on mental/behavioral health and related issues. 

You can check out RAMS CEO being interviewed by KTVU's Dave Clark:

Click HERE if you are unable to view the video above.

Click HERE to view video clips from the forum and interviews with other organizations and representatives, and follow @MediaTEAMup on Twitter and visit TeamUp online!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Introducing the Awardees of the Inaugural 2013 Staff Awards for Outstanding Service

RAMS is thrilled to announce the awardees of the first annual Awards for Outstanding Service!

To be considered for this recognition, anyone working at RAMS may be nominated by anyone within the agency. A diverse committee representing staff and management personnel reviewed all nomination submissions.

The awardees were announced during the July 2013 all-staff meeting, at which they were presented with a certificate. Awardees were also given a cash prize.

Consumer/Community Advocate Award: This award honors an individual who has been an outstanding voice for consumer empowerment by promoting client centered decision-making & change, access to information & resources, and creating relationships that foster hope, safety, and a sense of self-efficacy. S/he is mindful not only of consumer needs, but also of the needs of the larger community. S/he goes above and beyond the “call of duty”, outside her/his regular responsibilities to advocate on the behalf of the organization, consumers, their communities, and the “cause” at large.

Awardee: Colleen Wong, MA
Colleen Wong is a bilingual and bicultural Mental Health Consultant working at the RAMS Fu Yau Project. During her six years at RAMS, she has positively established trusting and effective relationships with child care sites and the community. In her nomination, an example was given in which she worked with an extremely challenging child care site and how she has fostered confidence in both teachers and parents by modeling effective techniques with children as well as offering training and psycho-education. This has led to many successes including children gaining a more stable environment, parents finding jobs through her workshops, and sites enhancing their infrastructure. In her nomination, she is remarked as having “opened up conversation [at sites]. No topic is off the table.” In addition to the remarkable work at Fu Yau, Colleen also volunteers her time at the Boys and Girls Club and the Asian American Donor Program. She has shown “admirable efforts in serving her community... Colleen makes her goal very clear and that is to create a beautiful world for our children through patience, empathy, and understanding.”

Excellence in Service & Cultural Competency Award: This award honors a skilled & compassionate individual who exemplifies the values and ideals of RAMS’ mission in her/his work & interaction with staff, consumers, and the community. S/he has given superior, sustained commitment to quality services, along with unwavering dedication to serve the organization (including other staff, consumers & their communities) with professionalism, integrity, respect, and humility. This individual is not only skilled at what s/he does, but also values diversity, is able to conduct self-assessments, manage & embrace the dynamics of difference, acquire new cultural knowledge, and adapt to the cultural context of the people s/he serves. S/he has a lasting positive impact on the organization and the communities.

Awardee: Paul Walsh, MA
Paul Walsh is a Mental Health Counselor at the Broderick Street Adult Residential Facility where he exhibits great enthusiasm for clinical work and very motivated to help clients in any way he can. Having started with Broderick in 2009, he quickly established connections and therapeutic alliances with clients including those who may be “difficult to reach”. His warm, compassionate, and non-judgmental relationship style fosters trust and, through it all, he continually demonstrates self-reflection and a mindful intention in all his work. In his nomination, there were two specific examples that clearly demonstrated his extraordinary efforts in providing care to clients, one being a case in which he providing instrumental support in working with a client get reconnected to the family after being estranged for many years, and then organizing an out-of-state visit. It is noted that his deep care and willingness to go “above and beyond” is just the standard for him and that he has made “profound impact on the BSARF program and in the lives of the clients we serve”.

Rising Star/Leadership Award: The award honors an individual that has shown exceptional promise in leadership by demonstrating their skills within the organization and our communities. S/he has shown accomplishments in improving the operations of a program, the administrative/supportive functions, and/or the lives of consumers and community we serve using an effective and efficient approach. This individual leads the way with fresh energy, strong ability, and steadfast commitment.

Awardee: Christine Tam, MA, LCSW
Christine Tam is the Director of the RAMS Peer Counseling Services and is a bilingual & bicultural licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience providing dedicated & culturally competent services to underserved communities. She has shown leadership in workforce development services at RAMS, specifically the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate, Outpatient Clinic Peer Counseling Services, and the recent transition of Empowerment Services. In her nomination, she was remarked as having led and trained those interested in and providing peer counseling services to a higher level of development, both professionally and personally. She has navigated Outpatient Clinic personnel and collaborated with program directors in designing, implementing, and supporting the creation of the Peer Counseling Services component. Christine has demonstrated exceptional advocacy skills having been involved in peer services and workforce development sector in the larger community. Prior to her current role, she also served in RAMS roles of Mental Health Counselor and clinical supervisor, as well as clinical consultant for Asian Pacific Islander Family Resources Network. Also, in her nomination, she is remarked to be “continue[ing] to help enhance the lives of consumers and the community (including RAMS community) with enthusiasm, steady, quiet and positive energy”, and exhibiting perseverance and effective problem-solving skills. She has over and over again shown exceptional promise in leadership!

Congratulations to the awardees!  RAMS is excited to be able to have this annual recognition.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meet RAMS - Loong Kwok, PsyD, and Stephen Lugar, PsyD

Dr. Loong Kwok and Dr. Stephen Lugar - clinicians with the RAMS Child, Youth, & Family Services and clinical supervisors at RAMS, who also have private practices in San Francisco - recently presented at the 2013 Spring Meeting of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, which took place from April 24-28 in Boston, MA.  They were part of a panel where five clinicians from varied generations and ethnicities attempted to place age and desire in a creative tension, titled, What Age is Desire?. Through their own personal and clinical stories they explored how aging affects the experience of desire, be it romantic, sexual, or otherwise. Other members of the panel included Drs. Michael Donnell, Stephen Hartman, and Bart McGee. The papers touched on the social contexts of aging and sexuality, touching on the meanings attached to bodies, ethnicities, generational differences, disease, and sexual mores.

Well-received at Division 39, the papers presented at the panel will be published in the upcoming issue of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality.

Click HERE to see more details about the APA Division 39.

UPDATE: The papers were published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2013.  Click HERE for details.

Photo credit - Alfonsina Blyde

Friday, June 7, 2013

The National Conference on Mental Health: A Wrap-up

To receive more background information on the National Conference on Mental Health, held at the White House on June 2, 2013, click HERE.

The White House Blog also provided a write-up of significant events at the conference, click HERE to read their post.

Watch President Obama's Opening Remarks at the Conference:

"The brain is a body part too; we just know less about it.  And there should be no shame in discussing or seeking help for treatable illnesses that affect too many people that we love.  We've got to get rid of that embarrassment; we've got to get rid of that stigma."
-President Barack Obama 

RAMS, Inc. was honored to take part in this important conversation and national advocacy on mental health.  We are more than ever committed to this cause and will continue to work with other organizations, healthcare providers, advocates, and consumer groups locally, statewide, and nationally in order to raise awareness, reduce the mental health stigma, and reach out to those with mental health issues in need of support.  We want to insure that mental health is an integral part of healthcare delivery - there is no health without mental health!

The Obama Administration also launched a new online resource MentalHealth.Gov, aimed to provide one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information.  We encourage you to visit this website and share this great resource with others.

Monday, June 3, 2013

RAMS at the White House National Conference on Mental Health

RAMS CEO Kavoos G. Bassiri was an invited attendee to the National Conference on Mental Health, held at the White House on June 3, 2013.  Here are some pictures from the event:

President Barack Obama addresses the guests and the nation:

Panel presentation and discussion facilitated by U.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at White House Mental Health Conference:

Kavoos G. Bassiri with former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who was also a chief sponsor of Mental Health Parity Act:

With Dr. Alvin Alvarez, Associate Dean at San Francisco State University and RAMS Board member, and Daphne Kwok, Chair at the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders and Executive Director of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mental Health Conference at the White House

RAMS President & CEO Kavoos G. Bassiri, LMFT, CGP, will join President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a conference on mental health for launch of a national dialogue to reduce stigma and address the barriers that prevent people from seeking mental health services because of the shame, fear, and secrecy associated with mental illness & their treatment.

On Monday, June 3, 2013, President Obama and Vice President Biden are hosting this conference to discuss how state, local and tribal governments, mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders and consumers can collaborate to eliminate mental health stigma so that the millions of Americans suffering from mental health problems will not hesitate to seek help.  Also, President Obama has asked U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about mental health.

“While millions of Americans struggle with mental health problems, those who need help are too often afraid to ask,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated at a White House press briefing on May 15.  Mr. Carney further emphasized that the conference on June 3 will focus on helping those struggling with a mental health problem recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.

RAMS is truly honored to be invited to participate in the White House conference and join this national dialogue & advocacy effort. 

Click HERE for more details about this exciting event.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

APA Heritage Month Closing Night Celebration Hosted by API Circle

Once again, RAMS is very pleased to be a community co-sponsor of the exciting  API Circle event, held on Friday May 31.  After very successful events in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Mateo, API Circle is headed back to where it all started 3 years ago!

When: Friday, May 31, 2013,  6pm - 9pm
Where:  One Ferry Plaza, San Francisco (behind the Ferry Building - close to Embarbarcadero BART/Muni)
How much: Cost to attend is Free!

FB: http://tinyurl.com/apicircle-may2013
RSVP at http://apicircle-may2013.eventbrite.com/

This year, we are honored that the API Circle event will be highlighting RAMS as well as another organization GOPIO Silicon Valley (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin), a non-partisan, secular global organization engaged in promoting the well being of People of Indian Origin, enhancing cooperation and communication between Indians living in different countries. 

Let's celebrate the closing night of Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month together!
You can definitely expect the same features …
• GREAT people to mix and mingle with
• TERRIFIC co-hosts and co-sponsoring organizations
• highlighting & supporting AWESOME API community non-profits and their work
• WONDERFUL performances
• FUN raffle prizes (every attendee gets a free ticket!)

 There will also be
• DELICIOUS complimentary Thai food while supplies last (and for sale downstairs)
• WONDERFUL samples from Jade Chocolates for the early birds
And there will be no cover charge!

Festive ethnic attire is encouraged but business, business casual, or even just casual are fine ... please come as you are!

See you soon - and please remember to invite your friends to join in too!

Steering Committee
Claire Chang | Kavoos Bassiri | Keesa Ocampo | Manufou Liaiga Anoai | Mary Nicely | Stephanie Balon Wong | Tamiko Wong

Ajay Bhutoria | Al Perez | Alisha Woo | Arnold Mew | Clifford Yee | Dairian Wan | Derek Lang | Diana Lin | Doreen Lew | Eric Lau | Frank Chui | Ivan Cheng | Gemmy Tsai | HoChie Tsai | Jen Low | Jenny Yu | John Tam | Jonathan Leong | Ken Pascal | Kyle Oura | Melanie Lew | Michael Lok | Paul Miyamoto | Pearl Wong | Roji Oyama | Ron Lee | Rose Chung | Ryan Takemiya | Sheetal Ohri | Sourichanh Sirch Chanthyasack | Steven Lee | Suzie Lee | Susie Willemsz-Geeroms | Taiko Fujimura | Ted Fang | Thanh Huynh

Serramonte Subaru

Media Sponsors
Diya TV | Hyphen Magazine | KAXT1

Community Co-Sponsors
Asian American Donor Program (AADP) | Asian American Theater Company (AATC) | Asian Americans for Community Outreach (AACO) | Asian Business Connectors | AsianWeek Foundation (AWF) | ASPIRE - Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education | Chinatown YMCA | Coalition of Asian American Government Employees (CAAGE) | Corporate Asian American Employee Network (CAAEN) | Filipino American Arts Exposition | GOPIO SIlicon Valley | International Lao New Year Festival (ILNYF) | JPMorgan Chase Asians & Pacific Islanders Reaching for Excellence (AsPIRE) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter | Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) | Miss Asian America | Nihonmachi Street Fair | OCA - East Bay | OCA - San Francisco | Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition (PAAWBAC) | RAMA | Richmond Area Multi-Services - San Francisco (RAMS) | San Francisco Asian Professionals | San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival | South East Asian Cultural Heritage & Musical Performing Arts (SEACHAMPA) | TaiwaneseAmerican.org | Taiwanese American Professionals - SF / Bay area (TAP-SF) | the it's ok campaign | Wa Sung Community Service Club

Prize Donors
Aaron Lum | Chili Pepper Event | Chinatown YMCA | Frances Kai-Hwa Wang | Kavoos Bassiri | Keesa Ocampo | Manufou Liaiga Anoai | Peoples Bank | Taiko Fujimura | Tamiko Wong

Vendors and Tablers
ASPIRE - Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education | Corporate Asian American Employee Network (CAAEN) | Jade Chocolates | Serramonte Subaru | Sumofish | Taiko Fujimura 
List current as of 5/21/13
RSVP at http://apicircle-may2013.eventbrite.com/
To learn more about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, check out APA Heritage Foundation's page: http://apiaheritagesf.org/history.shtml
The API Circle is an alliance of San Francisco Bay Area Asian & Pacific Islander American leaders and organizations with the mission to create meaningful relationships and collaborative efforts that are cross-generational, ideologically neutral and diversely representative.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day 2013

 May 10

First established in 2010 by the State of California and the City & County of San Francisco, Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day recognizes the importance of raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental wellness in the Asian Pacific American community. 
Approximately 25% of Americans in a given year are impacted by mental health conditions regardless of gender, age, race, religion and socioeconomic status, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Asian & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs) specifically make up one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, yet they have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations, which may be due to the substantial stigma that exists (since many individuals and families remain in denial or silence about their situation) as well as cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual. These disparities indicate the critical need to raise awareness & talk about mental health, de-stigmatize seeking help, and increase access to & support culturally competent/relevant services for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.

For more information on Asian American and Pacific Islander mental health facts, check out the NAMI Multicultural Action Center HERE.
Resolution presented by Senator Leland Yee to the CA State Senate in April 2010,
establishing Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10 statewide
"This measure would recognize May 10, 2010,
and each May 10 thereafter, as
Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day,
and acknowledge the importance of
raising awareness about mental health
in the Asian Pacific American community."

The establishment of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day was an effort spearheaded by RAMS along with California State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. and San Francisco Board of Supervisor (District 1) Eric Mar.  It was overwhelmingly supported by many major associations and community coalitions. Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and as Mental Health Awareness Month, institution of this day in the month of May more closely aligns both awareness efforts. 
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a RAMS event in 2011
honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar at a RAMS event in 2011
honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day
RAMS is excited to announce some of the following events recognizing Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day!
May 10, 10:00am-12:00pm at Chinatown Public Health Center, 1490 Mason Street, San Francisco: A panel presentation & gathering of public officials, healthcare professionals, Bay Area local & national leaders, community advocates, stakeholder institutions/ organizations, and educators & researcherson to discuss issues of detecting and addressing mental health concerns in primary care & non-mental health care settings. Details HERE.

May 10, 8:30am - 4:30pm at St. Mary's Event Center, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco: A training on cultural and clinical consideration in working with Filipino-Americans with mental health issues, presented by Dr. Jei Africa.  View the flyer by clicking on the image at right to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open").
The CAAEN Leadership Group is launching their "it's ok" campaign to bring attention to and promote awareness of mental health issues in the Asian community. Details HERE.

The city of Austin, Texas, has followed San Francisco's lead and proclaimed May 10, 2013 as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day in Austin.  Special events have been scheduled, including this training presented by the Asian Behavioral Health Network of Austin.

Also on May 10, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and The White House Office of Public Engagement are hosting an AAPI Briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.  [UPDATE: Click HERE for the article "Raising Awareness about Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in the AAPI Community" by Larke N. Huang)
Sharing Stories About The Asian Pacific American Experience & Mental Health
Ramey Ko shared a personal & inspiring story related Asian American Mental Health, in honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and the Friends Do Make A Difference campaign to raise awareness & destigmatize mental health in high school students in 2012. Mr. Ko is currently a Commission Member of the White House AAPI Initiative, and is an Associate Judge of the City of Austin Municipal Court.

Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day Over The Years
A sampling of some of the events held in previous years:
In 2012, RAMS collaborated with National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA), and its partner interTrend Communications, in their national Friends DO Make a Difference campaign.This creative and collaborative outreach effort provided and distributed messages via TV, online social media, and promotional events at high schools that focus on the importance and power of being a friend for someone facing mental health challenges.
On May 9, 2012, local public radio station KALW 91.7 FM aired a three-part series on Asian American mental health issues during the Crosscurrents news show.  RAMS is honored to have been asked to contribute and assist in the making of this noteworthy program. The entire series was heard on air at KALW 91.7FM, but is also available online at www.kalw.org.

On May 10, 2012, Hyphen Magazine wrote an article in honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day: AAMM (the column's author) revisits their roots and considers the impact of a mantra like "It Gets Better" in the article titled "Deciding Not To Bail".
On May 10, 2011, an all-day training event "Asian Pacific American Mental Health: Knowing Our Roots and Growing Beyond" was held in San Francisco, featuring  an esteemed panel of presenters that are recognized leaders, trailblazers, and legends in the field of mental health and working with Asian Pacific Americans.
On May 9, 2011, the College of San Mateo presented an Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Panel, featuring a panel presentation from RAMS staff about the importance of mental health and culturally-competent services in the A/PI community, working in the mental health profession, as well as challenges and issues specific to the A/PI communities.
RAMS is looking forward to many more years of raising awareness about Asian Pacific American Mental Health!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

Please join us in honoring
Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day
May 10
(May is also the National Mental Health Awareness Month
and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month)

In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10th, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. is proudly joining many others in the community at a press conference to discuss the issues of detecting and addressing mental health concerns in primary care & non-mental health care settings. 
WHEN: Friday, May 10th from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Chinatown Public Health Center
San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)
1490 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
WHAT: Join public officials, healthcare professionals, Bay Area local & national leaders, community advocates, stakeholder institutions/ organizations, and educators & researchers who will gather to recognize Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

Oftentimes, those with mental health concerns first present to primary care & non-mental health care providers; however, many health professionals in primary care and other healthcare professions may have challenges in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating these conditions effectively due a variety of factors. There is an additional challenge for the Asian American community, as literature indicates that these individuals tend to seek help from their primary care practitioner rather than mental health professionals. If mental health problems are not treated, they can worsen or prevent recovery from the medical conditions. At this press conference/community event, experts in health care will engage in a discussion about the challenging factors we face in this regard, what needs to be & can be done, and how they have effectively & innovatively integrated services so that there is comprehensive assessment and coordination between mental health and non-mental health care professionals.

Peter Ng, MD, Pediatrician, Chinatown Public Health Center, SFDPH
Tung Thanh Nguyen, MD, Commissioner, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders; Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
Irene Sung, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Community Programs, SFDPH; Medical Director, Community Behavioral Health Services, SFDPH
Ho Luong Tran, MD, MPH, President & CEO, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
Albert Yu, MD, MPH, MBA, Director, Chinatown Public Health Center, SFDPH; Clinical Professor, UCSF, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Moderated by: Helena Chan, MD, Medical Director, RAMS, Inc.

This event is sponsored by RAMS.

UPDATE: The panel speakers at the press event:

L-to-R: Drs. Helena Chan, Peter Ng, Tung Thanh Nguyen, Irene Sung, Ho Luong Tran, and Albert Yu
About Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day
 Approximately 25% of Americans in a given year are impacted by mental health conditions regardless of gender, age, race, religion and socioeconomic status, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).  Asian & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs) specifically make up one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, yet they have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations, which may be due to the substantial stigma that exists (since many individuals and families remain in denial or silence about their situation) as well as cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual.  These disparities indicate the critical need to raise awareness & talk about mental health, de-stigmatize seeking help, and increase access to & support culturally competent/relevant services for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.

The establishment of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day was an effort spearheaded by RAMS along with California State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. and San Francisco Board of Supervisor (District 1) Eric Mar. 

First established in 2010 by the State of California and the City & County of San Francisco, it recognizes the importance of raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental wellness in the Asian Pacific American community.  It is overwhelmingly supported by many major associations and community coalitions.  Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and as Mental Health Awareness Month, institution of this day in the month of May more closely aligns both awareness efforts. 
We are pleased to share that the City of Austin in Texas, has proclaimed May 10th as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day this year.  Also, The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and The White House Office of Public Engagement are hosting an AAPI Briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health on May 10th.  San Francisco Department of Public Health is holding an all-day training on May 10th focused on working with Filipino-Americans. There are many other outreach activities being held on this day.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ninth Annual Richmond Community Health Festival on Saturday, May 4th

RAMS is proud to be a co-sponsor along with Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor Eric Mar, Kaiser Permanente, Self-Help For The Elderly, and Compassionate Community Care for the 9th Annual Richmond Community Health Festival.

View the flyer by clicking on the image below to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open").

The Health Festival will feature FREE clinical health services including bone density testing, blood pressure testing, Hep B screening, and other medical tests& services, as well as FREE bicycle repair by Sprocket Mobile Bike Repair. The fair will also feature FREE giveaways, food, health education offered by more than 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and family fun.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2012, 10am-2pm

Where: Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue, San Francisco (between California and Clement)

UPDATE: Here's a picture from the event!  Thank you to Flora, Grace, Kristina, and Paul for volunteering!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Cantonese-language support groups for those affected by problem gambling

The Chinese Community Problem Gambling Project, a program at the Asian Family Institute of RAMS, is hosting a series of free Cantonese-language support groups for affected individuals (family members, friends, etc.) of problem gamblers.

Six weekly sessions shall be held, starting on May 4. The groups will be held on Saturdays at 10:00-11:30am in the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco.

See the flyer images below for more details (right-click on the image and select any of the "Open Link" options to view). The flyer is available in both English and Chinese language.

Friday, March 15, 2013

May 2013 HelpDesk Training program now accepting applications!

We are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity to learn skills that many employers are looking for.

The RAMS Hire-Ability program is currently accepting applications for the May 2013 HelpDesk training program.  The program provides intensive, supportive, high-quality, and time-limited training in the fields of information technology, technical support, and customer service. Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the primary goal of the HelpDesk program is to offer consumers of community behavioral health services or their family members with on-the-job training and paid, part-time work experience while providing front end user support primarily over the phone, under the direct supervision of the instructor.

Hire-Ability is seeking applicants with basic to intermediate computer skills, who are able and willing to commit to a nine-month long training program of 10-15 hours a week with a regular schedule. The application and program information are available on the Hire-Ability website (www.hire-ability.org).  This will be the fourth cohort of this program, with several graduates have succesfully secured positions in the field!

Applications and program information are available online on the Hire-Ability website at www.hire-ability.org (click HERE to go directly to the RAMS i-Ability Information Technology Help Desk Training Program page). Applications are due on Friday, March 29, 2013 at 5:00pm. Please feel free to contact i-Ability Program Manager, Terry Golden at tgolden@hire-ability.org for more information.

See the brochure images below for more details (right-click on the image and select any of the "Open Link" options to view)

Friday, March 1, 2013

RAMS Co-Presenting at 2013 CAAMFest

RAMS will be co-presenting two feature films at the upcoming 2013 CAAMFest, formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, held by the Center for Asian American Media.

One film, Invoking Justice, explores the way women in Tamil Nadu, South India are challenging tradition to demand equality and justice in their communities.  Fed up with an increasingly corrupt system that allows men to interpret the Qu’ran for personal gain, the first-ever Women’s Jamaat is formed to address issues of women’s rights. Despite initial harassment, the organization flourishes as women from the community and the Jamaat gain the courage to speak frankly about the daily violence they endure. Invoking Justice follows three cases (two murders and a divorce) as the core members of the Jamaat raise their voices with humor, tenacity and heart to demand retribution. This intimate portrayal offers the women of Tamil Nadu an additional opportunity to “talk back”—to the male-Jamaats, to their aggressors and to anyone who has ever doubted the power and autonomy of a Muslim woman.
The other film, Dead Dad, is a more intimate story focusing on family dynamics, on children dealing with their parents' imperfections.  When their dad dies unexpectedly, estranged siblings Russell, Jane and their adopted brother, Alex, come home to tend to his remains. Though a stubborn and proud bunch, they are able to agree on one thing: nobody wants to keep the ashes. With little guidance and mounds of resentment among them, the three must work together to achieve a proper goodbye. The man who split them apart brings them closer together as the siblings learn what it means to be a family without their dad. From Director/Writer Ken Adachi, his goal was to to tell a story about our generation and the inherent estrangement that often exists among family members. What if our parents suddenly passed, leaving us to deal with siblings we primarily communicate with via texts, emails and social networking? His hope was to touch upon those small and seemingly insignificant moments that make us love and hate our family members, those moments that make us wonder 'how the hell did I come from this family?'

We hope you join us at the CAAMFest for these highly anticipated films!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Beginnings, Whichever Way You See It…

The Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is proud to announce yet another wonderful cohort has graduated from the program. Over a dozen students from the Fall 2012 cohort celebrated their great accomplishments and received their certificates of completion at their graduation ceremony in December of 2012. These students put in a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment throughout the duration of this 12-weeks long intensive training program, where they learned techniques and skills on becoming peer counselors in the field of community behavioral health. We were especially honored at this graduation ceremony to have the full Executive Management Team of San Francisco Department of Public Health, Community Behavioral Health Services in addition to many community members attend the wonderful even. To date, 5 cohorts have completed the program, bringing our total number of graduates to 68! Congratulations again, class of Fall 2012!

We are also happy to announce that we are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2013 term of the program. Applications and program information are available online HERE at the RAMS website's Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program webpage. Applications are due on Friday, February 15 at 5:00pm. Classes start Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013. Please feel free to contact Program Coordinator, Christine Tam at christinetam@ramsinc.org for more information.

 Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc